July 23, 2013 by Caroline Leland
Flora & Fauna of Buenos Aires
What an excellent day, I’m thinking, and I realize it’s because my day was full of plants and animals. Why did I not seek these places out from the very beginning? When I got to Buenos Aires I already knew that I love nature, but all I did was bemoan how I never saw it here in the city.
Turns out Buenos Aires has excellent parks, if you know where to look. Today I went to Los Bosques Palermo, or the Palermo Forests: a collection of parks, including the lovely Jardín Japones (Japanese Garden) and the Palermo Zoo.
The zoo was good, I guess. I’m not much of a zoo connoisseur. I know they’re crucial for preserving the species and educating the public, but I still get sad seeing animals in cages. At least the monkeys were kept on an island, so they had sky. I always appreciate efforts like that.
Parque 3 de Febrero was excellent, with dirt footpaths winding between sturdy, wide-spaced trees and lots of grass. If only I lived a few blocks closer: at the start of my summer, I tried running there, but by the time I got there I had to turn back. Just barely too far.
Tucked on the edge of this giant park is the Japanese Garden, a beautiful space filled with exotic plants and picturesque bridges over koi-filled ponds. I had a huge and delicious lunch at the garden’s restuarant: salmon dumplings and a combination sushi plate. Later I bought an intriguing Japanese snack at a kiosko inside the garden: shaped like potato chips, but made with peanuts and tastes like fortune cookies.
Afterward I walked down the wide Avenida Libertador to visit El Museo de Artes Decorativos, which Dad & crew recommended to me. It’s a restored French mansion with original furniture and paintings, and informative signs in each room. A gorgeous home, free to visit and quite pleasant to walk around.